Brain surgery

On the day of the surgery I wake early, at around 5am. That seems to have become my routine since I’ve been on steroids to reduce the swelling in my brain. They make sleep a challenge to say the least.

I’m nervous but also relieved the day has finally arrived and I can move past this stage and onto the next. I’m thirsty and hungry, I’ve had to be nil by mouth since midnight. I’ve stayed with my aunty Lee and we set off for Cabrini Hospital just after 6am. My Dad (who has flown over from New Zealand as soon as I told him the news) meets us there. After completing some paperwork I’m taken off to get changed then I lie on a bed and wait. Lee and my Dad are sitting beside me. We’re all reading trashy magazines and trying not to think about the fact that I’m about to get wheeled off to have my brain cut open.

The anaesthetist is running late. I’m so weak from lack of food and water that I feel like I could almost drift off to sleep. There has been one aspect of the surgery that I’m particularly nervous about. I don’t want to wake up with the breathing apparatus they use still in my throat. I have a thing about things getting stuck in my throat. They assure me this won’t happen and at most I’ll just have a breathing mask on which can be removed as soon as I signal to a nurse.

Everyone is being so lovely to me and reassuring. The anaesthetist finally arrives and comes straight over to introduce himself and mumbles something about Melbourne traffic, but I’m not really listening. Finally, I’m wheeled off and I say goodbye to my aunty and my Dad. Then the tears start. I feel very alone and very scared. The anaesthetist’s assistant takes my hand and assures me she’ll be with me the whole time and that I’m in very good hands. Myron comes over to me and gives my shoulder a squeeze, ‘It’ll be over in no time’ he assures me. The anaesthetist comes over to me and starts readying the medicine that will knock me out. ‘We’ll have you out in a couple of minutes Bonnie okay.’

And he’s right. Next thing I know I’m waking up in recovery, slightly groggy and sore but overall not too bad. To be honest, I’m just glad I made it through.

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